The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Literary Fair

30,000 community members. 300 attendees. 

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is proudly accepting exhibitor applications for our first ever Desert Nights, Rising Stars Literary Fair.

Beyond engaging with over 30,000 community members and 300 attendees, exhibitors also receive complimentary and/or discounted registrations, with the opportunity to contribute readings, talks, or other literary programs as part of the larger festivities.

Exhibitor Options and Costs

Exhibitor SpaceCost
   Full Space (10' x 10') $350
   Half Space$200

Exhibitor applications will be accepted and selected on a rolling basis. Space is limited.

To view current and past exhibitors, you can visit our exhibitors page

To learn more about exhibiting, you can review the information below or submit an exhibitor application

Exhibitor Guidelines and Policies

Preferred Exhibitors

We prefer applications from professional organizations within the field of creative writing and contemporary literature—presses, publishing houses, journals, non-profit organizations, educational institutions—and, more generally speaking, arts and culture, local businesses, or other organizations fulfilling or complementing the conference's mission, vision, and goals.

Please note: completing an exhibitor application does not guarantee a spot in the exhibitor fair. 

Exhibitor Space and Equipment

All exhibitor spaces measure 10' x 10' and include a 6' table with two chairs. As canopies and tablecloths/linens are not provided, we strongly encourage exhibitors to bring their own. Exhibitors are also welcome to bring additional tables, chairs, displays, or any other items or equipment for their space. Exhibitors who purchase a full space may also share with up to two other organizations at their discretion. 

Exhibitors who purchase a half-space will be entitled to half the area and will be paired with another exhibitor to full the space. 

Exhibitor Fair Hours and Location

The exhibitor fair takes place outdoors in the center of the conference—on the East Lawn, around the fountain, and surrounding areas—and runs from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day. Although volunteers will be on-hand to provide general assistance, volunteers cannot provide vendor relief. Please plan your schedule and staff accordingly. 

Setting Up and Loading In

Exhibitors may load in equipment and supplies at the following times:

  • 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 21
  • 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Friday, February 22

As the conference grounds and exhibitor fair are not secure, exhibitors should be prepared to load-in and load-out each day, or to store their supplies, equipment, and other materials in the Piper Writers House (located on-site just a short walk away). While exhibitors cannot drive directly on to the conference grounds, a loading zone will be located closely nearby behind University Club and the Piper Writers House.

Breaking Down and Loading Out

Exhibitors may begin breaking down their spaces and/or loading out at 6:00 p.m. each day.

More information about breaking down and loading out will be provided closer to the event. 

Exhibitor Fair Activities

All exhibitors are welcome to sell products, distribute information, or otherwise conduct activities within their space to promote their organization as they see fit. It is the responsibility of any exhibitors who are conducting sales to have the appropriate tax forms and licenses.

Exhibitor Fair Programs

Exhibitors will also have opportunities to contribute a presentation, reading, workshop, or other light program to the exhibitor fair as part of the larger festivities. More information about programming opportunities will be provided at the appropriate time. 

Exhibitor Benefits

Beyond the space and public exposure, exhibitors receive the following additional benefits as part of their participation.

Complimentary Registration and Discounts

Exhibitors who purchase a full space will receive one complimentary registration to the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference. Please note: you must purchase a full space to receive the complimentary registration; individuals who purchase a half registration are not entitled to a complimentary registration.

Exhibitors are also entitled to a discounted registration rate of $200 for up to one additional registration if they purchase a full space, and two registrations if they purchase a half. 

Listings and Advertising Discounts

All exhibitors will have their image/logo, a brief description, and a link to their website posted on the Piper Center's website under the exhibitor page. Exhibitors will also be listed in the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Program, and will have the opportunity to have a postcard or flier issued to every attendee along with the program, tote bag, and other conference materials.

Additionally, exhibitors may purchase full or half page advertisements in the conference program at the discounted rate of $25 off. Exhibitors may also purchase a 'featured exhibitor' option in the conference program for $50—including their logo and a 120 word description—equivalent in space to a third page ad. 

Larger Promotions

The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference is promoted nationally across numerous channels, including newsletters, outreach campaigns, and paid advertising in printed and online formats, and attracts over 250 authors, poets, and other creative writing professionals every year.

The exhibitor fair itself will be promoted extensively to the general public as an opportunity to participate and engage with the literary community outside of the conference. This year, the exhibitor fair will be promoted in partnership with ASU's Open Door event, which attracts more than 30,000 individuals to the Tempe campus every year.

Application Process

Organizations or individuals who are interested in exhibiting will complete a brief application detailing their contact information and exhibitor activities, which is reviewed to ensure proper fit.

Important Dates

Exhibitor applications open June 1 and are accepted and selected on a rolling basis. As space is limited, we recommend applying early. 

Become an Exhibitor

To exhibit with the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference, you can complete the exhibitor application

Become an Exhibitor

More Information

For more information about exhibiting at the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference, contact Education Programs Coordinator Felicia Zamora at 480.727.1787 or